Isn’t it great when something is pretty self-explanatory? Personal possessions is one of those things. It is insurance for your stuff, so it can be repaired or replaced if it’s damaged or stolen. What does need a bit more explanation, is where it fits alongside other types of insurance, and any limitations there may be.

When we say “fits alongside”, what we mean is that personal possessions insurance is not typically a stand-alone product. You’d normally find it as an optional extra when buying contents insurance. And if you’ve read our previous blog post on contents insurance, you may have already decided that this isn’t for you.

Why is personal possessions insurance extra?

While contents insurance covers your stuff at home, it doesn’t include when you take items outside. Why? Because that’s when these smaller items are at greater risk of being stolen, lost or broken.

To give you an idea, ONS data shows that 890 phones are stolen every single day. And that’s just phones. As for laptops, one is stolen every 53 seconds, mostly from bars, public transport, workplaces and conferences.

It’s worth pointing out at this stage that work laptops wouldn’t be covered under a personal possessional policy, but we’ll come onto that a bit later.

As you can from these stats, insuring stuff outside the home comes with a risk. But you know that. Taking stuff outside the home is a risk, but your mobile isn’t much use if you can’t take it places, right?

Either way, it’s a whole different ballpark to the possibility of a fire or flood, and so it needs a different approach. That’s why personal possessions insurance is often an add on product at an extra cost.

Can I take out personal possessions insurance on its own?

If your home is filled with items you’d not care much to replace, then you might be tempted just to opt for personal possessions insurance. That makes sense right?

But you’ll soon find after a quick scout around comparison sites that there aren’t many options to take out this policy on its own. You might find gadget insurance or tenants insurance, but not personal possessions.

Why not just take out contents insurance?

This is an option if you’d like to cover all the stuff in your home and not the building itself, which your landlord should take care of. But if you only want to pay for cover for the items you’d be most gutted about losing, like your phone, bike, or a precious piece of jewellery, you’ll still need to check that this is covered outside the home.

If it isn’t, or you’ve not paid extra for this type of cover, you’ll not be able to make a claim if you get pickpocketed on the tube, or if your bracelet falls off and you lose it.

What counts as “reasonable care”?

This is something that would likely come up time and again on many personal possessions insurance policies. Because the risks of damage and theft are that much greater outside the home, it’s important to encourage “reasonable care”, that is steps that you take yourself, to make sure your stuff is safe and out of harm’s way.

Let’s say that you’re on a train, and you want to go to the buffet carriage. You’ve got your laptop with you, and you have two choices – leave it on your seat, or take it with you. If you’ve read our tips on how to travel home safely, you’ll know the right answer.

It can be as simple as making sure your back is zipped up so it’s less accessible to thieves, or not leaving anything that would be tempting to steal unattended.

Better to lose a half-drunk cup of coffee that gets cleared up by a staff member who thinks you’ve left your table, than your laptop!

What’s not included?

Every personal possessions insurance policy may be slightly different, and so too can be what’s not included. Some cover items abroad for up to 60 days, others don’t automatically. Others might not cover things like sports equipment for accidental damage when in use.

To add more confusion, while not the same product, there are insurers that label gadget cover as personal possessions insurance. If you take out that policy and expect your guitar to be covered, you’re going to be let down in a claims scenario. Always get a policy based on what you want to cover first and foremost, and then see what the other benefits are from there.

How can I insure my stuff outside?

Aside from taking out contents insurance or tenants insurance to then choose personal possessions insurance as an add on, you can take a different route entirely. An Arma Karma subscription works much like a personal possessions insurance policy, but with a few key differences.

Firstly, it’s not an add on. This is a standalone subscription to protect the items that matter most to you. That means you don’t need to have contents insurance to protect your stuff. With Arma Karma, it’s covered outside, at home and abroad.

Secondly, you have flexibility in what you cover. You can choose up to five items, and they don’t need to be electrical. This gives you more options than gadget insurance, which is mainly for your phone, laptop, or camera, for instance.

Like some personal possessions insurance policies, we cover your items for up to 60 days while you’re abroad.

Need to know more?

Visit our FAQs to find out what’s covered under an Arma Karma subscription. This is where you’ll also find our Insurance Product Information Document, which explains what’s included and what’s not. Don’t worry, it’s not pages long.

Ready to get covered? Get a quote to find out what you can cover, and for how much, with an AK subscription.